In this period of self-quarantine and limited social gatherings, The Sculpture Center offers safe, outdoor, tangible art experiences in three cities in Ohio: Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Each tour, curated by artists and scholars of note, Art in Our Midst, brings attention to outdoor public sculpture in our communities and cities. We hope to provide recognition of the role large scale art plays in public spaces, and how the combined visions of artists, city planners, private institutions, and residents can enlighten our sense of place in our own backyards.
Ongoing in various locations around Columbus.
Historically, African-Americans have been left out of the canon of art history. Eurocentric art history might include a few recognized African American artists and movements such as Jacob Lawrence of the Harlem Renaissance and contemporary artist Kara Walker. In the 1970s, African American artist, Kerry James Marshall, was struck by the lack of black artists in the canon. The history of art is rich in diversity, however textbooks and other educational resources have lightened black people in paintings, removed them during restorations and cropped out of text book images. Kerry James Marshall has spent his career as an artist fighting erasure and doing his best to correct the absence of black artists in western art history. It is my goal as the curator of this tour to correct the absence in the Ohio Outdoor Sculpture database.
This tour highlights the works of the following African American sculptors: Omar Shaheed, Queen Brooks, Chief Baba Shongo Obadina, Andrew F. Scott, Charles McGee, and Melvin Edwards. Each artist in this tour not only celebrates the African American culture, but also goes beyond this subset. These sculptors contribute heavily to the progression of the arts by also engaging young African Americans to make their own contributions to their communities and/or art history.